Monday, September 25, 2006

The Maz: MoneyLaw's medal of merit

Bill Mazeroski, known primarily for great defensive play at second base for the Pittsburgh Pirates, walks off with the 1960 World Series championship.

MoneyLaw hereby inaugurates The Mazeroski, a medal of merit conferred upon individuals whose contributions to the advance of legal academia are as considerable as they are quiet. "The Maz" is named for Bill Mazeroski, who played seventeen seasons at second base for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The defining moment of Mazeroski's career came in 1960, when he hit the only game 7 walk-off home run in World Series history. Maz's blast ended a legendary series that many regard as the nadir in the otherwise glamorous postseason history of the New York Yankees.

Indeed, the 1960 World Series is a miniature Hall of Fame for underrated ballplayers. Maz's walk-off homer made a champion for the first time of one of baseball's all-time heroes on and off the field, Roberto Clemente. The young Clemente was so underappreciated that the National League's Most Valuable Player award for 1960 went to fellow Pirate Dick Groat. The American League's MVP? None other than Roger Maris, who would play his entire career in the shadow of the glitzier Mickey Mantle and soon would be victimized by baseball's most unjust asterisk. To complete the picture, the World Series' Most Valuable Player award went to Mazeroski's opposite number at second base, the Yankees' Bobby Richardson. Among all these unsung heroes, though, Mazeroski emerged, and his walk-off homer at Forbes Field remains baseball's enduring symbol of underdog triumph.

Nominate MoneyLaw's next Maz!

Mazeroski rounds third

Do you know someone who deserves a Maz? Let us know. Ordinary e-mail is fine, but webmail via the Jurisdynamics Network is even niftier.
The inaugural winner of MoneyLaw's Maz award is John Doyle, associate law librarian at the Washington & Lee University Law Library. John's signature achievement is the very understated, modestly named database, Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking. This database, especially as supplemented by its update blog, provides legal scholars all the information they need to submit articles to law reviews around the world. Unlike ExpressO, John's database is completely free. MoneyLaw strongly favors and encourages the use of John Doyle's database as an alternative to its expensive and exploitative counterpart. And unlike ExpressO, the "Doyle database" (as it is known to its aficionados) provides bibliometric information that is as useful as it is extensive. There may not be a deeper source of information about the underlying architecture of legal scholarship.

Congratulations, John Doyle!
It isn't true that the modal player in legal academia is a marketing genius whose copious capacity for self-promotion exceeds his or her actual record of academic achievement. It only seems that way. The Maz is intended to reward the worthiest of workers behind the front lines, the quiet individuals who have been too busy building databases, scholarly portfolios, or even entire institutions to promote themselves or otherwise to play the political games that are the bane of legal academia.


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